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Audi stuns with V12 diesel for Q7

Bent 12: Turbo-diesel V12 Q7 won't head Down Under until 2008.

Audi stuffs a turbo-diesel V12 into its Q7 to create one mutha of a luxury SUV

22 Sep 2006

AUDI has ended intense speculation about what direction it is taking with a high-performance version of its Q7, revealing it has stuffed a 6.0-litre V12 twin-turbocharged diesel engine into its large, luxurious SUV.

To make its public debut at the Paris motor show later this month, the Q7 V12 TDI is being billed as the world’s first 12-cylinder diesel engine in a series production car and will be a fascinating rival to petrol-powered high-performance SUVs from Porsche, Mercedes-AMG and BMW.

A version of the 478kW (650bhp) 5.5-litre V12 TDI used in Audi’s R10 racing car, the street-legal diesel uses what Audi claims is the world’s first 2000bar common-rail system that produces some big talking points in output terms – 368kW (500bhp) of power and 1000Nm of torque, the latter available from 1750rpm through to 3000rpm.

According to the VW-owned German manufacturer, the engine, which drives all four wheels on a permanent basis through a reinforced six-speed automatic gearbox, can send the 2.2-tonne-plus Q7 from rest to 100km/h in 5.5 seconds.

Its maximum speed is limited to 250km/h.

7 center imageThe oil-burner also complies with the forthcoming (2010) Euro V emissions standard and, according to EU consumption charts, returns 11.9L/100km across the combined scale.

The 5934cc V12 has a compact design and a unique 60-degrees cylinder angle, and uses a combination of cast iron and hi-tech vermicular graphite for the crankcase. It also features a new chain drive assembly, which includes two newly developed high-pressure pumps in the Bosch-developed common-rail injection system. The maximum 2000bar the pumps can amass is 400bar more than previously available. The piezo injectors have also been updated.

Details other than the drivetrain are thin on the ground, however visual changes to the Q7 include front and rear undercarriage panels, an S-series chrome-plated single-frame grille and a still-to-be-specified "powerful braking system".

An Australian introduction is not expected before 2008, around the time when a 4.2-litre V8 petrol-electric hybrid version of the Q7 becomes available. A tamer 240kW/650Nm 4.2-litre TDI engine, as seen in the A8, is due to arrive late next year.

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